Free «Social Change in Education» Essay

Social Change in Education


NAEP data (National Assessment of Educational Progress) also referred to as the Nation’s Report Card was started in 1969. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project of NCES (National Center for Education Statistics). NAEP collects academic information on students’ performance and reports it at national, state, and district levels.  It represents and continuously assesses what the American students know and are able to do in different subjects. Its initial task was to assess the students’ progress in reading, geography, civics, science, U.S history, arts, and mathematics. NAEP assesses students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grade.  The assessment results are available as The Nation’s Report Card.

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Analyzing and Interpreting the Data

The Ohio law requires that annual assessment be administered on selected Ohio schools based on the standards of academic content in various subjects as required by NAEP.  The NAEP assessment does not provide state to state comparison. States that receive Title I funding, like Ohio are required by NCLB (No Child Left Behind) to participate annually in the NAEP reading and mathematics assessments for students in the 4th and 8th grade. Since the same methods are used to assess students in other states, the results obtained provide an appropriate state to state comparison of students’ performance. The NAEP assessment may differ from the Ohio assessment in content and scope, but they are both appropriate methods to assess the students’ performance and progress to improve education in Ohio and America.

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Ohio Report Card Compared with the NAEP Efforts

Fourth and eighth grade student from Ohio have continued to show improved performance over the recent years. The 2009 Nation’s Report Card indicates that fourth and eighth grade students in Ohio have continued to perform above average. Improved performance in science has also been recorded where the students’ performance is at or above the NAEP’s set proficient levels. According to NAEP standards, academic proficiency refers to solid academic performance where the students are able to portray competency over challenging academic matters. According to The Nation’s Report Card, 32 percent of the students in 4th grade performed at or above the proficient level nationally, of whom 41 percent were students in Ohio State. In 8th grade, 29 percent of the student performance was at or above the proficient level nationally of which 37 percent were in Ohio.

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What it means and what the Data Says about Students, Teachers, and other Stakeholders

This data indicates that students from the state of Ohio have continued to demonstrate higher levels of proficiency skills compared to students from other states. Ohio has continued to provide rigorous course to the students, and this has helped in providing a challenging environment that helps them exploit their potential and gain content and technical skills. This data indicates that the students are willing to learn from the instructions given by their teachers. It also indicates the continued collaborative work by the teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders to actively engage students in improving education in Ohio State.

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Communicating Results and Recommendations to Stakeholders

The main objective of conducting an evaluation is to obtain findings which will be presented to the stakeholders. The stakeholders and decision makers use the information from the evaluation exercise to decide on what should be done. It is necessary to ensure that the results and recommendations given to the stakeholders are sound and reflects the situation on the ground. If the evaluation contained mistakes, this will lead to wrong interpretations and wrong recommendations presented to the stakeholders. In the education system, the recommendations provided by the evaluators will assist in making the correct and productive decisions that will help enhance the learning process. If the project outcome is what I expected, I would make sure to outline what the initial objectives of the project were; I would then compare the objectives of the project with the current status. Since the results are as expected, the project will have met its goal. I would explain to the stakeholders how I arrived to the conclusion and inform them if there were any assumptions made. If the goals were met, it might be necessary to increase the objectives to exploit the full potentials of the individuals involved.

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If only 50 percent or less of the outcomes were as expected, I would find out why the project did not fully achieve the set objectives. This would be accomplished by collecting data on the current status of the project. By analyzing the methods used when carrying out the project, it would be possible to notice where things went wrong. Failure to achieve the set objectives may have been as a result of unrealistic goals and/or unreasonable assumptions. I would recommend that the set objectives be revised to ensure that they are achievable. It would also be necessary for the evaluators and other stakeholders to analyze critically the process of accomplishing the goals and ensure that there are no unrealistic assumptions.

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Were the resources necessary to accomplish the objectives available to responsible individuals? All assumptions made should be discussed by the evaluators and stakeholders to ensure chances of making same mistakes are minimized. If the initial goals were unrealistic, the evaluation team should come up with realistic goals to avoid repeating same mistakes. The evaluators should find out whether more priority needs to be given to achieving goals. All possible actions that may assist in achieving the goals must be analyzed fully. The evaluators and other stakeholders should analyze how the planning process could be improved. The number of deliverables should be increased to ensure good follow up on the project.

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Continuous Improvement and Sustainability

After collecting and analyzing data on the effectiveness of the program, it is necessary to adapt the policies and procedures as stated in the recommendation. To build sustainability in the project, it would be necessary to identify the issues that need to be solved using the collected data. After collecting data, the evaluators should be able to answer the question, will this improve the program? The evaluators should find out whether they will require any additional information to improve and sustain the program.

The data collected from the state of Ohio, NAEP, NCLB, and NCE sites help in determining the best recommendation for the state of Ohio. The data collected should be effectively utilized by ensuring that the decision made is based on collected data. From the data collected, it is evident that the performance of the Ohio state is well above average. The stakeholders should analyze the goals to ensure that they are achievable, and the students will benefit.

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To improve the program, it is necessary to determine the relationships between the collected data.  This will help determine the resources required to sustain the program. The sponsors and other stakeholders must support program for its successful sustainability. It is necessary for sponsors and stakeholders to work collaboratively and diversify funding resources to ensure the future of the initiative. Contribution of the stakeholders and sponsors in the development of future policies for the project is the key to ensuring sustainability and improvement of the program.

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